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Couple plead guilty to gambling scheme targeting casino in Livermore

Sentenced to 8 months in jail, probation, $507,600 restitution for cheating at baccarat for years

A husband and wife admitted to bilking Parkwest Casino 580 in Livermore through an extensive scheme to cheat at baccarat over multiple years, according to state prosecutors who announced the plea deal last week.

(Stock image)

Eric Dat Nguyen, 40, and Khanh "Tina" Tran, 34, pleaded guilty to felony grand theft and were sentenced to eight months in jail, two years of supervised probation and a restitution bill to pay in the amount of $507,600, California Attorney General Rob Bonta said on March 30.

"Breaking the law is never the right way to get ahead," Bonta said in a statement. "We will not tolerate criminal activity in our state. Today's announcement holds accountable Nguyen and Tran and sends a message that cheating in California will not lead to success."

At the time of the couple's arrest in 2020 on 10 felony charges plus special allegations, prosecutors said they conspired to steal nearly $4 million from the casino they both used to work at. But last week after the convictions, Bonta referred to the gambling scheme as resulting in the theft of over $500,000.

The criminal complaint said Nguyen and Tran cheated at EZ Baccarat with Panda 8 Rules during 2015 and 2016 while she worked as a card dealer and he gambled at the casino on North Canyons Parkway. Nguyen previously worked at Parkwest Casino 580.

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"As part of the scheme, Tran would peek at a sequence of cards after shuffling and would convey the sequence to Nguyen before she left the table," prosecutors said. "Nguyen would then begin to play at that same table and place significant wagers when he recognized the sequence of cards relayed by Tran."

Casino officials first became suspicious of Nguyen's "gambling habits and winning statistics" in April 2016 and ultimately notified the California Department of Justice's Bureau of Gambling Control about the crime in June 2016, according to the criminal complaint.

Following a lengthy investigation by special agents with the California Department of Justice's Division of Law Enforcement, charges were filed against Tran and Nguyen in March 2020, and the couple were arrested in May 2020 in Harris County, Texas.

The original complaint upon their arrest listed Tran's first name as Khan, but the press release last week identified her first name spelling as Khanh.

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Jeremy Walsh
 
Jeremy Walsh, a Benicia native and American University alum, joined Embarcadero Media in November 2013. After serving as associate editor for the Pleasanton Weekly and DanvilleSanRamon.com, he was promoted to editor of the East Bay Division in February 2017. Read more >>

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Couple plead guilty to gambling scheme targeting casino in Livermore

Sentenced to 8 months in jail, probation, $507,600 restitution for cheating at baccarat for years

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Apr 5, 2022, 10:22 pm

A husband and wife admitted to bilking Parkwest Casino 580 in Livermore through an extensive scheme to cheat at baccarat over multiple years, according to state prosecutors who announced the plea deal last week.

Eric Dat Nguyen, 40, and Khanh "Tina" Tran, 34, pleaded guilty to felony grand theft and were sentenced to eight months in jail, two years of supervised probation and a restitution bill to pay in the amount of $507,600, California Attorney General Rob Bonta said on March 30.

"Breaking the law is never the right way to get ahead," Bonta said in a statement. "We will not tolerate criminal activity in our state. Today's announcement holds accountable Nguyen and Tran and sends a message that cheating in California will not lead to success."

At the time of the couple's arrest in 2020 on 10 felony charges plus special allegations, prosecutors said they conspired to steal nearly $4 million from the casino they both used to work at. But last week after the convictions, Bonta referred to the gambling scheme as resulting in the theft of over $500,000.

The criminal complaint said Nguyen and Tran cheated at EZ Baccarat with Panda 8 Rules during 2015 and 2016 while she worked as a card dealer and he gambled at the casino on North Canyons Parkway. Nguyen previously worked at Parkwest Casino 580.

"As part of the scheme, Tran would peek at a sequence of cards after shuffling and would convey the sequence to Nguyen before she left the table," prosecutors said. "Nguyen would then begin to play at that same table and place significant wagers when he recognized the sequence of cards relayed by Tran."

Casino officials first became suspicious of Nguyen's "gambling habits and winning statistics" in April 2016 and ultimately notified the California Department of Justice's Bureau of Gambling Control about the crime in June 2016, according to the criminal complaint.

Following a lengthy investigation by special agents with the California Department of Justice's Division of Law Enforcement, charges were filed against Tran and Nguyen in March 2020, and the couple were arrested in May 2020 in Harris County, Texas.

The original complaint upon their arrest listed Tran's first name as Khan, but the press release last week identified her first name spelling as Khanh.

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